Today, we will be discussing how former Florida homeowners whose properties have been sold at a Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale can find out if there are surplus funds available to them to be claimed. First and foremost, Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale surplus funds are the result of a property being “purchased for an amount in excess of the statutory bid of the certificateholder” (or Florida Tax Deed Certificateholder), according to Fla. Statute 197.582(2)(a).
However, just because a Florida property was purchased at a Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale for more than what was owed to the Florida county, for its unpaid tax assessments, doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be surplus funds available to the former homeowner. According to Fla. Statute 197.582(2)(a), “the clerk shall distribute the surplus to the governmental units for the payment of any lien of record held by a governmental unit against the property, including any tax certificates not incorporated in the tax deed application and omitted taxes, if any.”
Meaning that if there was a recorded governmental lien on the property, then said surplus funds would be distributed to said governmental lien first before being retained by the Clerk of Court for the benefit of the former Florida homeowner(s) and “persons described in Fla. Statute 197.522(1)(a), except those persons described in Fla Statute 197.502(4)(h), as their interests may appear.” For more information on governmental liens and how they can affect your Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale surplus funds please feel free to take a look at my prior blog post.
Moving on, if there is an undistributed balance of surplus funds after the governmental lien(s) has/have been satisfied, or if there is/are no governmental lien(s), the Clerk of Court will retain the undistributed balance and is required to “mail notices to such persons”, mentioned above “notifying them of the funds held for their benefit at the addresses provided in Fla. Statute 197.502(4)”, according to Fla. Statute 197.582(a). This notice from the Clerk of Court is one of several ways that former Florida homeowners can find out that they have surplus funds available to them after the Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale of their home.
Another way former Florida homeowners can find out if they have Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale surplus funds available to them is by going to the county’s website that the sale was conducted in and searching for the tax deed number, or sale date, associated with their property’s sale on said county’s Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale surplus funds list. For example, here is a link to Broward County’s Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale surplus funds list: https://broward.deedauction.net/reports/total_sales
The most common, and annoying way, for former Florida homeowners to find out that they have Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale surplus funds available to them is when they are constantly harassed with countless of calls and mail from pesky Surplus Funds Recovery Companies. Surplus Funds Recovery Companies will stop at nothing to get former Florida homeowners to hire them to “assist them” in filing a claim for their surplus funds, and will even show up at the former homeowners’ front door!
If, you are contacted by a surplus funds recovery company I strongly suggest that you ignore them and consult with an experienced Florida Tax Deed Surplus Funds Recovery Attorney right away.
At Haynes Law Group, P.A., we have experienced Attorneys who are well versed in the Florida Statutes governing former Florida homeowners claims to Tax Deed surplus funds, and have helped to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars for former Florida homeowners. If you are a former Florida homeowner whose home has been sold at a Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale, please give me a call and I will personally give you a free consultation. We represent former homeowners all over the state of Florida, no matter what county they are in, and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive your money in the greatest amount possible. Best of all, we represent our Clients on contingency which means we don’t get paid unless you do!